Wallabies prop Greg Holmes is set for a 2016 international swansong, after signing with Exeter for two seasons.
Holmes will play out the 2016 year in Australia, giving him the opportunity to add to his 24 Test caps in a big year of Rugby.
Holmes played a critical part in the recent Rugby World Cup, alongside Sekope Kepu, Scott Sio, James Slipper and Toby Smith as part of the side’s front row arsenal.
Kepu is already overseas, while Slipper, Sio and Smith, all in their mid-twenties, are shaping as the key prop prospects as the team heads towards the 2019 World Cup.
Holmes’s decision comes after a remarkable return to the Wallabies fold this season, after eight years in the international wilderness.
This season saw him nearly double his career Test cap tally, adding 11 Tests to the 13 that he won between 2005 and 2007.
The 32-year-old has played his entire Rugby career in Queensland and is one of the most respected members of the national squad.
Holmes, whose return was one of the World Cup’s feel-good stories, said he felt the time was right to test out new waters in a new country.
“It’s sad to go but I feel that it is my time,” he said.
“I was brought up here at Ballymore, it’s been my home for my whole career and I love this place.”
“It’s going to be tough emotionally, especially when the time comes to wear the jersey for the last time,” he said.
“But I’ve had a special time as part of the Reds and I’m looking forward to making the most of the 2016 season.”
Holmes will play for the Chiefs from the 2016-17 season, having signed for two years with the English club.
Place of birth: Warwick, QLD
Senior Club: Sunnybank Dragons
School: Downlands College
Representative Honours: Australia Under 21 (2004), Queensland (2005-), Australia A (2005), Australian Wallabies (2005-), Rugby World Cup (2007, 2015), Queensland Country NRC (2014)
Test Rugby debut: 2005 v France, Marseille
Test Rugby caps: 24
Test Rugby points: 10 (2T)